Family Guide 2022

We encourage all families — new and returning — to read the Family Guide in full. Please note that processes and programs have been updated for this camp season.


To the stellar Summer ‘22 students of Usdan:

Welcome! The chipmunks and woodpeckers have been lonely and are excited to see you, as am I.

At the start of every summer I feel a special kind of excitement because soon the buses will pull in, your fresh faces will appear, and the campus will be abuzz with all of your creative spirit. You come because at Usdan you are free to be YOU, do what you love, make friends and flex your creative muscles. We come together in a spirit of joy and play, and create a world shaped by our hopes, dreams, and ingenuity.

So, here’s to a new summer of creativity, friendship, and the thrill of discovering ourselves and the natural world in new ways.  

I, for one, can’t wait to see what we all create together


Lauren Brandt Schloss, Executive Director

To the amazing parents and caregivers of the Usdan Summer ‘22 students:  

I am thrilled to welcome you all to the Summer of ‘22. Our enrollment is back up to pre-pandemic levels, which means more excitement and creative energy across campus. It is going to be a blast!

We are starting this new year with a renewed sense of purpose. Our goal is to create a safe and playful environment where all of us (students, teachers, staff, and families) are free to imagine and create the world we want to inhabit. A world that prioritizes connection, creativity, empathy, compassion, diversity, and the health of our planet. And, let’s not forget, JOY.

I am grateful for this opportunity to come together as a community to find hope and joy in sharing our visions of what is and what could be.  

I look forward to seeing you on campus, and here’s to the Summer of ‘22!

Warm wishes,

Lauren Brandt Schloss, Executive Director


At Usdan Summer Camp for the Arts, we believe that a vital part of the creative process is cultivating openness to new ideas and different perspectives. We believe that art making is future making. Usdan is committed to building a thriving and diverse community for all, and we welcome and affirm social identities in all forms, especially but not limited to, ages, abilities, artistic passions and interests, races, gender identities, religions, and economic and geographic backgrounds. We proactively seek to support all students, families, and staff, and we strive to create an environment that encourages all to share their unique gifts as a way to foster understanding, collaboration, and friendship in-season and throughout the year.


FAMILY ORIENTATION (In-person, at camp)

Tuesday, June 21, 2022: 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Families can arrive at any time after 5:30 p.m. and are asked to arrive no later than 7:00 p.m.

New and returning Classic (including Allegro) and Recreational Camp students and their families are invited to spend an evening on Usdan’s campus. 

Your family can expect to experience the following at Orientation:

  • Meet Usdan’s leadership team and your child’s teachers or counselors.
  • Walk your child’s schedule​.
  • If your child is a musician, check their instrument at the Instrument Check Building.
  • Purchase Usdan merchandise at our store.
  • Drop off medications and health forms with the Health Office.
  • Pay any remaining bills.
  • Meet fellow students before the first day of camp. 
  • Pick up Usdan’s 2022 Event Calendar.
  • Get ​as excited as we are for ​this unforgettable summer!


Before your child’s first day, we will provide your family with a virtual tour video and information about their teachers or counselors. Additionally, there will be plenty of staff available to assist your child on the first few days of camp.


Our location is: 185 Colonial Springs Road, Wheatley Heights, NY, 11798.

Usdan is accessible by car or the Long Island Railroad.

Please be mindful of rush hour traffic.

Long Island Railroad (LIRR)
Coming from NYC? Consider taking the LIRR!

We will have shuttle buses running from the Wyandanch LIRR station according to the following schedule. Families who would like to take the shuttle are asked to RSVP. If you miss the shuttle bus, please note that Uber and Lyft are available for pickup at the station.

The following shuttle bus times were chosen to align with arrivals from and departures to Penn Station (Manhattan), Atlantic Terminal (Brooklyn), and Jamaica (Queens).

Shuttle Buses Departing from Wyandanch Station
5:30 PM
6:20 PM

Shuttle Buses Departing from Usdan
7:14 PM

Visit for more information on directions.


Usdan will be open on weekdays only. 

Usdan will be closed on Monday, July 4, in observance of Independence Day. Camp will operate on a normal schedule for the rest of that week.

Classic Camp

8-week: June 27 – August 19

4-week A: June 27 – July 22

4-week B: July 25 – August 19

Recreational Camp

Week 1: June 27 – July 1

Week 2: July 5 – July 8

Week 3: July 11 – July 15

Week 4: July 18 – July 22

Week 5: July 25 – July 29

Week 6: August 1 – August 5

Week 7: August 8 – August 12

Week 8: August 15 – August 19


At Family Orientation or via mail, your family will receive a printed calendar with important dates, including Festival performances, Theater shows, in-studio performances, Open Studios, and camp traditions. You will also be able to find a detailed digital calendar on our website

Each week in our weekly newsletter, we will email you a reminder of what’s coming in the week ahead. For now, please make note of the following important dates.

  • Tuesday, June 21: Family Orientation; see above for more information.
  • Monday, June 27: Opening Day
  • Wednesday, July 20: Community Day & Fundraiser
  • Friday, August 19: Closing Day


Throughout the course of the summer, there will be select days that are non-traditional for some or all of the campers. These may include performance days, visual art open studios days, end-of-camp rituals including a parade, opportunities for students to attend performances in other areas of the camp, and mass artistic experiences that involve the entire camp. We plan these events for educational and social purposes and we believe in the value of seeing, supporting, and celebrating each other’s work and our time as a community.

You will be notified of any special events or activities in our weekly email and through our website.



185 Colonial Springs Road | Wheatley Heights, New York 11798





In case of weather or other emergencies, visit for real-time updates and information.


Schedule change requests for Classic camp, including Allegro, can be submitted according to the following schedule:

  • 4-week A: By Wednesday, June 29 at 2:00 p.m.
  • 4-week B: By Wednesday, July 27 at 2:00 p.m.

Class availability is extremely limited, and changes will only be made if space is available. 

Schedule change requests can be submitted here

Once your request has been submitted, you will receive an email confirming our receipt. Changes are made based on class availability and are not guaranteed. You will receive a second email by 8 p.m. the night before the schedule change will go into effect with the result of your request and a new program card if the change was approved.


Usdan uses text messaging as an additional way to communicate emergency reminders, announcements, and alerts. We ask that you please opt into receiving texts from Usdan so that you receive important alerts throughout your child’s session. In order to opt in, please text “Alert” to 22300.


Instagram: @usdanarts | #usdan


If you need to make a payment, please call 631-643-7900 ext 113 or email  You may also mail us a check to our camp address:

185 Colonial Springs Road, Wheatley Heights, NY 11798
Attn: Accounts Receivable

Should you have any questions about your invoice, please email our finance office at


If you need to speak with the nurses, you may call 631-643-7900 ext 125, or for non urgent matters,  email

New York State law requires us to have your child’s health form on file before allowing them to board a Usdan bus or attend a class. This form should be signed by a doctor and reflect a physical that occurred after June 1, 2021.

If your child has received a COVID-19 Vaccination, we do require a copy of their vaccination card as well.  Health forms and vaccination cards can be sent to or faxed to 212-772-6079.


All medications, both prescription and over the counter, will need a physician’s order for our nursing staff to administer any medications to your child.  You can find the necessary medication forms here. The forms can be sent to or faxed to 212-772-6079.

You may drop off medications at Family Orientation, at the camp before the first day, or send them with your child on the first day. Over the counter medications, inhaler and/or epinephrine may be transported on the bus by your child and brought to the health office immediately upon their arrival on campus. All medications should be labeled with your child’s name and have the proper paperwork attached to it. Inhalers and Epinephrine should have an original prescription label attached to the device or the packaging.

Any controlled medications must be in an original pharmacy prescription bottle and can be transported to camp by giving it to your child’s bus driver to transport to camp. The bus driver will deliver the medication to a Usdan staff member upon arrival to camp.  Please make sure that the medication is also in a secured envelope or bag to ensure safety against tampering.

All medication will be transported home in the same method at the end of your child’s camp session. 


The Health Department requests that we share the following brochure with camp families. Kindly review at your convenience.


After you receive your child’s program information, you will receive your child’s transportation information via email under a separate cover. In this email, you will find important information such as your child’s bus company contact information, bus attendance monitor contact information, bus number, and approximate pick-up and drop-off times.

Please add to your contacts so that it does not go to your junk folder and you will be sure to receive that information in a timely manner.  

Should you have questions in-season regarding your child’s transportation, you should contact the bus company or the bus attendance monitor. You may also contact 631-643-7900 with other questions.

For non-urgent transportation matters, you may email

Important Transportation Information:

  1. Bus Route Number: It is very important that students know what their bus number is, especially at dismissal. Buses will be parked in number order in the afternoon. Please write your child’s bus number on their program. If your child is in Discovery please write the bus number on their name tag to help facilitate staff getting them to the right bus. 
  2. Approximate pick-up time: Don’t be late! Please be 10 minutes early for the first day, and 5 minutes early every other day. Extra time has been built in for the first few days. Buses are scheduled to arrive at Usdan between 9:30-9:45 AM and will depart for home at 3:30 PM. Buses will not wait longer than 3 minutes past the scheduled pick-up time and will not be able to go back for students who miss it. 
  3. Please call your bus attendance monitor by 7:30 AM if your child is unable to attend for the day. Vacation notes listing days of absence and “no bus pick-up” should be given to the attendance monitor. If you are unable to reach the monitor, please call the bus company at the number listed below. Please do not call the camp for daily absences. 
  4. The use of seat belts are mandatory on Usdan’s buses.

Bus Companies

(Please refer to your individual letter for which company services your child’s route):

  • Huntington Coach 631-261-9819
  • Suffolk Transportation 631-665-3245 ext 4310, 4311, 4312, or 4323
  • Pioneer Transportation 718-931-5450


If your child experiences social or emotional difficulties while at camp, contact the Dean’s Office at 631-643-7900, or email


Last updated: June 1, 2022

The following reflects the protocol in place on the date listed above. Due to the nature of the pandemic, we will operate with the understanding that policies can change, depending on cases in the region and recommendations from New York State and the Suffolk County health department.

Usdan follows the guidance of New York State (NYS) and the Suffolk County Health Department.

Let’s work together as a community to make this summer safe and joyous.

Have questions about COVID-19 protocols? Get in touch by emailing or calling 631-643-7900 during regular business hours.


Here are five important protocols we will adopt, which are detailed below.

  1. Masks will be optional on the bus and at camp this summer. 
  2. Positive cases will be isolated and contacts who have not developed symptoms will not be required to quarantine (regardless of vaccination status).
  3. All students will follow the same protocols, despite their vaccination status.
  4. Most studios at Usdan have varying degrees of fresh air. Usdan will increase airflow in studios with fans. 
  5. Fully enclosed studios will be “mask-recommended” and will have fans and HEPA filters in place to increase airflow.



  • Masks are optional for students from the time they board the bus or exit their parent’s vehicle. 
  • Students will be asked to avoid overcrowding, especially in spaces that are prone to overcrowding such as by the Green Sign, the Usdan campus entry point. Such spaces will be marked with signage. If a crowd begins to form, Usdan staff will ask students to disperse.


  • Mask-wearing is optional on the bus. Families should choose what they are most comfortable with. Should you want Usdan’s bus counselors to ensure your child is wearing their mask on the bus, please inform your bus counselor in-person or by texting or calling the number on your bus card.
  • Buses will be disinfected at the end of each day.
  • Bus windows will remain open by at least one inch to allow for ventilation.
  • Students who are required to wear masks due to a COVID-19 exposure should wear masks on the bus.



  • Masks are optional in all studios. Families should choose what they are most comfortable with. Should you like Usdan’s staff to ensure your child is wearing their mask in the studio, please inform us by emailing
  • Some of our studios are “mask-recommended” studios due to limited airflow. These studios are:
    • A19, A20, A23, A25, M7, M12, M26, M29, T7

Outdoor Activity

  • Most studios will have outdoor space designated at their studio area while others will find outdoor spaces throughout the campus.
  • Faculty are encouraged to remain outdoors with their group as much as possible this summer.


  • Students will eat lunch at their assigned picnic area.
  • On rainy days, students will eat in their Major studio.
  • Lunch will be eaten outdoors at picnic tables weather permitting. Families opting to have their child social distance at lunch should inform us by emailing


  • Masks are optional at Festival. Families should choose what they are most comfortable with. Should you like Usdan’s staff to ensure your child is wearing their mask in the studio, please inform us by emailing
  • Students will be asked to avoid overcrowding, especially in spaces that are prone to overcrowding, such as entering, exiting, and inside the Amphitheater. Such spaces will be marked with signage. If a crowd begins to form, Usdan staff will ask students to disperse.



  • Masks will not be permitted in the pool. 


  • Masks are optional. Families should choose what they are most comfortable with. 
  • Students will be asked to avoid overcrowding, especially in spaces that are prone to overcrowding, such as by the Green Sign, Welcome Center, and when students pick up their ice cream treat at the end of the day. Such spaces will be marked with signage. If a crowd begins to form, Usdan staff will ask students to disperse.


The list below describes when masks are optional, recommended, or not permitted. It applies to students who have not tested positive for COVID-19 or had a recent close contact. 

Should you want your child to wear their mask at all times during the camp day, please let our staff know by emailing Families are encouraged to choose what they are most comfortable with. 

Students who have been exposed to COVID-19 in their household will be required to stay masked on the bus and at camp, except when eating or drinking, for 7 days from the date of exposure. We recommend that students who have been exposed at camp stay masked on the bus and at camp, except when eating or drinking, for 7 days from the date of exposure. Please see “Positive Cases & Communications” section below for more details.

When student is on the bus OPTIONAL
When student is walking the campus pathsOPTIONAL
When student is in the outdoor space of a studio or in a studio that has good airflowOPTIONAL
When student is in a studio that has moderate airflow
(if your child is in a studio with moderate airflow, it will be noted on their program card)
When student is in the poolsNOT PERMITTED
When student is traveling to and from, entering, or exiting the Amphitheater OPTIONAL
When student is seated at Festival in the AmphitheaterOPTIONAL
When student is eating lunchOPTIONAL
When student is performing in the Lucy Moses Theater, Hillside Theater, or McKinley Amphitheater.OPTIONAL
When student is walking the paths to the bus lot or to pickup areaOPTIONAL


  • Studios will be cleaned and disinfected, paying careful attention to high-touch surfaces such as tables and door handles.
  • Bathrooms will be cleaned and disinfected multiple times a day, with a more thorough cleaning done at the end of each day.
  • Students and staff will be asked to wash hands at regular intervals including, but not limited to:
    • before eating 
    • upon entering any new studio or space
    • after using the restroom
    • after using common items, such as sports equipment, computer keyboards and mice, and art supplies
    • after coughing, sneezing, or blowing their nose


All students will have the same privileges at camp this summer, no matter their vaccination status.

  • We are requiring all staff and faculty to be up to date with COVID-19 vaccinations (absent of an approved reasonable accommodation in accordance with applicable law). 
  • We are encouraging, but not requiring, COVID-19 vaccination for students, but are analyzing the situation and reserve the right to change this policy.
  • Students who have received any COVID-19 vaccines are asked to submit a copy of their vaccine card in advance of camp.
    Please submit to


  • We welcome parents and caregivers to attend our daily Festival performances as well as Theater Department shows, Open Studio days, and in-studio performances. 
  • There may be limitations on the number of families who can attend specific in-studio performances. Families will be notified of these limitations in advance of the performances. 
  • Via email and on our website at, parents and caregivers will be notified on which days their child is performing on campus.


We isolate positive COVID-19 cases and contacts who have not developed symptoms will not be required to quarantine, regardless of vaccination status. 

If a staff member or student is suspected of having COVID-19 by the Health Office, they will be asked to leave campus as soon as possible. If they are unable to, they will be isolated until they are able to secure a ride home. Students or staff suspected of having COVID-19 must show a negative test result or clearance from a physician before returning to camp.

If your child tests positive for COVID-19We require that they quarantine for 5 days from the day they tested positive or started to exhibit symptoms
On day 6, they can return the camp
On days 6–10, we require that they wear a mask on the bus and while at camp.
If your child is exposed to COVID-19 in your household (e.g. sibling, parent, etc.)They can come to camp as long as they have not developed symptoms
We require that they stay masked on the bus and at camp, except when eating or drinking, for 7 days from the date of exposure
Please closely monitor your child for symptoms
If your child begins exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms, they should not attend camp and be tested. If exhibiting symptoms, proof of a negative test must be shown to return to camp.
If your child is exposed to COVID-19 in their camp class or groupThey can come to camp as long as they are not exhibiting symptoms
We recommend that they stay masked on the bus and at camp, except when eating or drinking, for 7 days from the date of exposure
Please closely monitor your child for symptoms
If your child begins exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms, keep them home and test them. If exhibiting symptoms, they must show the proof of a negative test to return to camp. 


If our Health Office learns that a student or staff member in your child’s class tests positive for COVID-19, you will be contacted by our Health Office via email as soon as possible and asked to monitor your child for symptoms. 

If a student or staff member outside of your child’s close contacts tests positive for COVID-19, you will be notified via email in our weekly COVID-19 report sent to all staff and students on the Friday of each week.

Please report positive COVID test results to the Health Office immediately.  

Between the hours of 8AM and 4PM:
Call the Health Office at 631-643-7900 ex. 10125.

Between the hours of 4PM and 8AM:
Email and include the date of the positive test, date the symptoms began, and the date your child was last at camp. 


COVID-19 refunds will only be offered due to camp closure, not for quarantine or isolation orders.

A refund of tuition will be given only if:* 

  • Usdan needs to close in-season due to COVID-19.
    The refund would be based on the number of days a student missed due to the closure. 
  • Usdan announces camp closure prior to June 27, 2022 due to COVID-19.

*Upon closure, families will be asked to choose one of the following methods to process their refund: 

  1. Tuition refund
  2. Tuition credit
  3. Tuition donation 

Have questions about COVID-19 protocols? Get in touch by emailing or calling 631-643-7900 during regular business hours.

***All policies are subject to change***



This year, Usdan is providing nearly $3 million in scholarships to ensure that cost is not a barrier for attending camp. These scholarships are made possible through philanthropic contributions. To support need-based scholarships, please visit


Wednesday, July 20, 12-5pm. Come for some; stay for all. Tickets start at $25. 

Join us on the afternoon of Wednesday, July 20 for this year’s Community Day & Fundraiser. Enjoy the art and beauty of our campus as the students do: immersively. Under the artistic direction of acclaimed music ensemble and Artists-in-Residence The Knights, this afternoon of experiential events and encounters will be inspired by this year’s theme: water. This very special day will highlight performances and art from the students and offer the entire Usdan community the chance to see the artistry of your young ones alongside professional artists. 

For more information on supporting scholarships or the Fundraiser, please contact Stella Shepherd at 631-643-7900 or email


The Usdan Parent Committee is a connected parent/caregiver community at Usdan whose goal is to increase parental involvement, specifically the Community Day & Fundraiser on the afternoon of July 20th. Members of the Committee will:

  • Support the Community Day & Fundraiser by spreading the word about the event to their communities and networks;
  • Volunteer their time or a skill;
  • Attend Usdan events, including the Community Day & Fundraiser.

For further information on joining the Usdan Parent Committee, please contact Marco Tomassi at


Usdan relies on volunteers to help ensure a positive and productive summer for all campers. Volunteers help in our Welcome Center, at performances, in the Administration office, and throughout camp. To volunteer, please contact Victoria Ellerbe at 631-643-7900 x116 or email


Usdan is more than a place—it’s a tight-knit community of people who work and thrive together. The camp’s staff and faculty are a crucial part of the Usdan experience.

Lauren Brandt Schloss | Executive Director

Joe Levy, CVE | Chief Operating Officer

Kerry Barnhart | Senior Director of Student Affairs
Cory Benson | Manager of Buildings & Grounds
Alice Clancy | Manager of Operations
Diana Crum | Interim Director of Education
Victoria Ellerbe | Director of Administration
Julio Garcia | Senior Groundskeeper 
Lauren Kinane | Enrollment Coordinator
Kyra Leeds | Community Relations Senior Associate
Stella Shepherd | Donor Relations Coordinator
Johan Van den Berghe | Controller 
Olivia Wise | Manager of Marketing & Communications 


Kyra Leeds | Community Relations Senior Associate
Emily Annesley | Parent Support Associate
Liana Haigis | Program Assistant & Parent Support Associate
Matthew Mantione | Parent Support Associate
Brittney Rifkind | Parent Support Associate


George Perdomo | Maintenance Supervisor
Kareem Byrd | Cleaning Supervisor


Courtney Kassinger | Transportation Manager
Estefany Gutierrez | Transportation Assistant 
Emily Annesley | Transportation Assistant 


David Schecher  | Attendance Director
Adam Cordero  | Attendance Assistant


Mark Bligh | Music Department Chair |
Jodie Embleton | Art Department Chair | 
Sadie Friedman | Discovery Program Chair | 
Javan Howard | Writing and Chess Coordinator |
Hawley Hussey | Curriculum Specialist | 
Jim Incorvaia | Theater Department Chair | 
David Lake | Recreation Chair |
Cassandra Richards | Dance Department Chair | 
Cindy Rosin | Nature & Sustainability Coordinator
Aquatics Director | 


To keep our students healthy, Usdan maintains an on-site Health Office to provide care and dispense medication. Families should have already provided a Health Record and Physical Examination form by May 31. If you have not, please send it as soon as possible to

Usdan’s Health Office requires both a doctor’s orders and parent permission for all medications. Students may self-medicate with emergency medication only if specified by a doctor’s orders. Medication and doctor’s orders should be dropped off at camp prior to your child’s first day or sent with them on the bus the first day of camp. Forms can be found at 

Elizabeth Scannello | Registered Nurse, Health Director

Debra Patane | Registered Nurse
Diana Marlow | Registered Nurse
Kathy Sager | Registered Nurse
Linda Amarante | Registered Nurse
Noreen Sadoff | Registered Nurse
Sharon Marino-Roccaro | Registered Nurse


The Dean’s Office helps students become comfortable at Usdan. The Deans can offer advice or mentorship to students struggling with behavior, social skills, or their classes (if you have specific questions regarding the content and curriculum of your child’s class, contact the Department chair). The Dean’s Office staff are here to support all students and ensure they have a special summer experience at Usdan.

Zachary Rifkind | Dean of Students

Jolita Haigis | Associate Dean of Students
Pasquale Iannelli | Associate Dean of Students
Susan Babcock | Associate Dean of Students


Usdan Summer Camp for the Arts cares about children and has a responsibility to provide a safe environment for all of our young people. We recognize that providing that safe, caring environment is everyone’s job, not only the job of our teachers. Our entire staff – assistant teachers, accompanists, swim and recreation staff members, maintenance staff and the administrative staff – all have a responsibility to be informed about and take an active role in the prevention of child abuse. Every staff person has completed a Mandated Reporter Training course which meets the New York State Education Department mandatory requirements for Training in Child Abuse Identification and Reporting.

If you have any questions or feel that a Usdan camper is being abused, or is in danger of being abused, please contact any member of the Dean’s Office staff or Nurse Liz Scannello.


The opening day of camp is thrilling, maybe a little nerve-wracking, and oh, so much fun. Here is what to expect: 


Before camp, you will receive transportation information with all of your child’s bus info. The bus will pick up your child at their assigned pickup location and head to Usdan. Please be 10 minutes early to the stop on the first day, and 5 minutes early every other day.  Buses will not wait more than 3 minutes past the scheduled departure time, and cannot go back if a child misses it.  

When buses arrive at camp, they are greeted by a member of the staff, who will provide instructions.  

Please write your child’s bus number on their program or another special place, or if your child is in Discovery, on their nametag to assist the Counselors in getting them to the bus.

Your child will enjoy their camp day. At the end of the day, everyone receives an ice cream treat before heading to their bus.


If you will not be using the bus, you may drop your child off between 8:30AM and 9:00 AM every morning. Please have your 2022 Access Pass in your windshield to grant you access to the campus.

When you arrive at camp, you will be directed to the bus field to drop off your child. Parents and guardians may not get out of their vehicle at this time. 

At the end of the day, everyone receives an ice cream treat before going to the Amphitheater to wait until you arrive to pick them up. 

You will pick your child(ren) up from the bus lot in the afternoon. You must have your 2022 Access Pass clearly positioned in your windshield to make pick up as easy as possible.  You may not get out of your car.  A greeter will radio for your child to be brought to your car.

You may pick your child up between 3:45 PM and 4:15 PM every afternoon. Cars will not be permitted onto the grounds between 2:45 PM and 3:45 PM, so please do not arrive early.

Please be prepared for delays the first few days of camp as we perfect our system.


Discovery students must wear their nametag every day of the season. This nametag alerts our staff that a child is a Discovery camper and helps them anticipate their needs and expectations. This name tag will be given out on the first day.

Once they have arrived at Usdan, Discovery campers will meet Discovery Counselors who will escort them to the Amphitheater. Their Counselor will be with them every step of the way to help with anything they need. Be sure to write your child’s bus number on their name tag.


In advance of the start of your child’s session, they will receive a nametag in the mail. Make sure your child has their program card (digitally or printed) and nametag when they leave home for the first day of camp. 

Upon arrival, Partners in the Arts students will be ushered to the Amphitheater where they will meet their Counselor who will escort them to their morning class. At the conclusion of their Major class, their Counselor will take them to get their ice cream treat and then to the bus field or Amphitheater for their ride home.


Make sure your child has their program card (digitally or printed) when they leave home for the first day of camp. 

The Usdan campus is easy to navigate, and the staff is friendly, but sometimes we still need an insider to help us around at the beginning. Students should not hesitate to ask for help! Should your child need help orienting themselves, Usdan staff members wearing a bright blue t-shirt or students wearing a pin with “Ambassador” written on it will be able to help them. 


Upon arrival, students attending Recreational Camp will meet their group at the “Recreational Camp Tent” located near the Welcome Center. 

At the conclusion of the camp day, their Counselor will take them to get their ice cream treat and then to the bus field or the Amphitheater for their ride home.


When campers enter campus, they will be greeted by our friendly staff at a table with free goodies including maps, stickers, temporary tattoos, and more.

This table will also include pronoun pins for those who would like to share their personal pronouns. Use of these pins is completely optional. 

In English, people frequently refer to others using pronouns, such as “he” for a man/boy or “she” for a woman/girl. These associations are not always accurate or helpful, depending on a person’s identity. Some people prefer non-binary pronouns, such as “they” or “ze”. 

We are offering optional pronoun pins to encourage students and staff to use correct personal pronouns and to avoid misgendering. Using someone’s correct personal pronouns is a way to respect and validate them, and to create an inclusive environment.

Should you like to learn more about personal pronouns and why they matter, we encourage you to check out the following resources:


Following their daily ice cream treat, students in the After Care program will take a quick stroll to the Amphitheater to meet After Care staff. After Care programs may vary daily and can include board games, arts activities, recreational time, and more. Swimming will be included, so we recommend an additional swimsuit and towel.

We discourage the use of devices in After Care and will ask your child to put it away if they are on it for an extended period of time. Children in the After Care program do not receive bus service home. They must be picked up by a parent or authorized person at Usdan’s campus before 6:00 p.m.

If you have signed up for After Care, you will receive a separate email with more detailed information about the program. If you are interested in After Care, but have not yet signed up, please complete this form. The cost is as follows: 

8-Week: $350
4-Week A: $200
4-Week B: $200
1-Week Recreational Camp: $50/week

Please email with any questions.


  • Nametag (for Discovery and Partners in the Arts campers)
  • Reusable Water Bottle
  • Lunch
  • Mask (optional, unless they are required to wear a mask due to exposure; we will have extra masks available at camp as well)
  • Swimsuit and Towel (if your child is in Discovery, Recreational Camp, or U Time)
  • Sneakers or Walking Shoes (no Flip-Flops or Sandals))
  • Snack (for Discovery and After Care)
  • Bug Spray 
  • Sunblock 
  • Hat
  • Umbrella, Poncho, or Raincoat
  • Extra socks or other clothing in case of wet weather
  • Yoga Mat (if your child is taking Yoga)
  • Smock (if needed)
  • Instrument (if your child is taking instrumental music classes)
  • Dance Attire (if your child is taking a  Dance class, see below for details)
  • Camera (if your child is taking Photography)
  • Anything else which would make your child’s day more comfortable


Some Departments require dress conducive to course activity. Please note that Usdan maintains an inclusive environment and encourages students to dress in the attire they feel most comfortable in.


A smock or old shirt to protect clothes.


Usdan Dance welcomes all interested students. If the dancewear or shoe requirement hinders you from taking class, please reach out to the Dance Chair for assistance. 

All classes: Hair that falls to the shoulders or below should be pulled back off the face.

Classical Studies: Either a leotard (any style) with tights OR a white shirt with black leggings or athletic pants. Feet (all genders): Ballet shoes (no color preference).

Dance Adventure: Comfortable, nonrestrictive clothing — e.g., shorts (no jeans), leggings, dance pants, yoga pants, sweatpants, T-shirt, tank top. Feet: To be determined in spring 2022.

Next Generation: Comfortable, nonrestrictive clothing — e.g., shorts (no jeans), leggings, dance pants, yoga pants, sweatpants, T-shirt, tank top, leotard, tights. Feet: Bare feet and sneakers.

Broadway Jazz: Comfortable, nonrestrictive clothing — e.g., shorts (no jeans), leggings, dance pants, yoga pants, sweatpants, T-shirt, tank top, leotard, tights. Feet: Jazz shoes.

Hip Hop: Comfortable, nonrestrictive clothing — e.g., shorts (no jeans), leggings, dance pants, yoga pants, sweatpants, T-shirt, tank top, leotard, tights. Feet: Sneakers. 

Musical Theater Dance: Comfortable, nonrestrictive clothing — e.g., shorts (no jeans), leggings, dance pants, yoga pants, sweatpants, T-shirt, tank top, leotard, tights. Feet: Jazz shoes and tap shoes. Students may wear socks or no socks with tap shoes, depending on comfort.

Tap: Comfortable, nonrestrictive clothing — e.g., shorts (no jeans), leggings, dance pants, yoga pants, sweatpants, T-shirt, tank top, leotard, tights. Feet: Tap shoes. Students may wear socks or no socks with tap shoes, depending on comfort.


Athletic shoes, with closed toes, are highly recommended for Recreational Camp students.

Swimsuit and towel. There are boys, girls, and all-gender changing areas at the pools. 


Swimsuit and towel. There are boys, girls, and all-gender changing areas at the pools. 


Comfortable clothing without buttons or zippers that is easy to move in. Students are encouraged to bring their own mat, which can be stored on-campus during their session. If a student cannot supply a mat or forgets their mat, Usdan will have extra.


For the convenience of musicians who cannot take their instrument back and forth to camp, Usdan provides 24-hour instrument storage at Instrument Check. 

If you are able to take your instrument back and forth to camp, please do so as we are trying to limit the transfer of items as much as possible. 

Instrument Check is conveniently located on the way to the Music Department. All checked instruments must be in protective cases and marked with the owner’s name. Musicians can pick up a special sticker for their instrument case at the Instrument Check Building on the opening days of each camp session.


Students are required to bring their own lunch. There is no refrigeration and students are required to carry their lunch in their bag. If a student forgets or loses their lunch, Usdan Administration can provide a backup lunch.


As there is nowhere on campus to purchase beverages or food, students are advised to bring their own reusable water bottle. Water filling stations are located throughout the camp for student use. Students can purchase additional water bottles at the Usdan Store in the Welcome Center. Compostable cups are also available.


Each afternoon, before boarding the buses, students are served an ice cream snack at no extra charge. If students need lactose- or gluten-free frozen treats instead of ice cream, they’re kept in the Health Office. If your child is in the Discovery program or is attending the After Care program, please provide an additional snack.


Forbidden items for campers and visitors:

  • Cigarettes
  • Vapes or E-cigarettes
  • Matches
  • Lighters
  • Drugs
  • Alcohol
  • Weapons of any kind

No smoking or vaping is permitted at Usdan. Smoking on the grounds could result in immediate dismissal.

Items to leave at home:

  • Skateboards
  • Rollerblades
  • Frisbees
  • Water pistols
  • Wide-tipped markers
  • Portable radios
  • Shaving cream

Students are also advised NOT to bring:

  • Cell phones
  • Tablets
  • iPods
  • Expensive watches, including Apple Watches
  • Cameras
  • Jewelry
  • Money beyond that needed for emergencies

The safekeeping of these items cannot be guaranteed, especially during swim periods.


We recommend that all personal items be marked with each child’s name. All found items are held at the Lost and Found area near the bus field for no longer than five days, with the exception of valuables, such as glasses, wallets, mobile phones, jewelry, etc., which are brought to the Administration Building for safekeeping.


Please do not supply your child’s class with food or treats for birthday or end-of-season parties, whether on campus or your child’s bus. This will protect the health and safety of students with food allergies.


Usdan believes that while mobile devices such as phones and tablets can be tools for creativity, camp is a place to disconnect from the frenzy of technology — to enjoy the plants and wildlife that surround us and to interact with the friends in front of us. Students are permitted to use mobile devices on the bus, at lunch, and during passing periods as long as it is not while walking for safety. We will make exceptions for children who need access to their phone for medical use. Otherwise, phone use is discouraged. Your child’s teacher may ask them to use their device from time-to-time for creative work such as taking photos, but no device is required to attend camp.

If you need to contact your child during the camp day, please call the Usdan Administration Office at 631-643-7900.


Usdan Summer Camp for the Arts maintains a pristine, natural campus for the enjoyment of all students, and exploring the campus is an integral part of the Usdan experience. Studies show that hiking and spending time outdoors can boost creativity, improve focus, and encourage positive thinking.

Of course, being immersed in nature brings out some health and safety risks for children, including mosquitoes, ticks, and poison ivy.


Usdan encourages all students to use organic herbal insect repellent to prevent mosquito and other insect bites. Usdan takes care to remove standing rainwater where mosquito larvae may linger, but mosquito bites are a natural consequence of spending time in wooded areas.


Students are told to perform regular tick checks. Families are encouraged to thoroughly check their children for ticks after each day and carefully remove any ticks present (the recommended method is simply using a piece of tape or sticky lint roller to pull a loose tick off). If a child is bitten, be sure to monitor the bite site for irritation.

Here are some tips to safely remove an attached tick, should you find one:

  • Tweezers are the best tool to use.
  • Place tweezers as close to the skin as possible. Try to grab the tick’s head or just above it.
  • Pull upward with a slow and steady motion. Try to avoid breaking the tick, but don’t be alarmed if the head breaks off and remains in the skin. Disease transmission is not possible without the entire body.
  • Disinfect the bite area with rubbing alcohol or soap and water.
  • Contact your child’s healthcare provider.

To learn more about tick prevention, visit


Poison ivy is a common vine found throughout the northeastern United States and beyond. Contact with the plant can cause an allergic reaction that triggers skin irritation and blisters. Nature students are taught to recognize poison ivy’s trademark three-leaf pattern and not to touch any part of the vine. Students enrolled in programs that regularly venture into wooded areas are supplied with pre-contact solutions that help prevent an allergic reaction.

Usdan removes poison ivy near our pathways.


As part of Usdan’s maintenance of a beautiful natural setting for students, the camp emphasizes a commitment to sustainable living. Please be sure to send your student with a reusable water bottle daily; fresh drinking water is also on-site for student consumption. We encourage using reusable food packaging for lunches.


In case of inclement weather, Usdan will provide the latest camp announcements online at and via text communication. Parents and caregivers will also receive updates to be alerted of severe weather issues or other imperative information.

All studios are covered and recreational spaces have a covered alternate space, which means Usdan will not close for a rainy day.


Located between the Amphitheater and Administration building, the Welcome Center houses Visitor Information, the Usdan Store, and our Art Gallery which will feature student and faculty art.

Merchandise is also available online at


Even the home of summer fun has a few rules.

Since our very first summer, Usdan staff and campers have embraced the belief that we should treat others with respect, empathy, kindness, compassion, and understanding at all times. Even when it’s hard to do. Especially, when it’s hard to do.

Together, we can create classroom environments that welcome every student, and Festival Performance audiences which celebrate those on stage. Like the staff and campers before us, using this simple philosophy and common sense, we can find energy and inspiration in art and a roadmap to be good citizens at Usdan and in life.


Conduct on the Bus

For your safety, standing in the aisles of the bus is not permitted and all students must wear a seatbelt. If you do not abide by these rules, intended for your wellbeing and that of other students, you may be dismissed from Usdan.


Regular attendance in class and at performances is expected of all students. If you have missed a class, stop at the office and give your reason to the Attendance Office. Unexplained absences will be reported to parents, and repeated absences from class may result in expulsion from the camp without a refund of tuition. You may be excused to accompany your family on a vacation, but no refund of fees is made for absences.

Leaving the Grounds

You are not permitted to leave the grounds. If you do so, you may not be allowed to continue at Usdan.


When attending or participating in a Festival Performance at the Amphitheater, the goal is to create an atmosphere of focus, engagement, appreciation, and respect. Another goal is for students to understand and be comfortable in various performance settings. Like all great art, this takes practice and perseverance.

A Usdan staff member will signal when each performance has concluded by lowering the lights. Students should not leave or prepare to leave the Amphitheater before this time. Please wait until the stage lights go off before putting on your backpack or standing up during a performance.

Talking or other forms of distraction, including eating food, during a performance is impolite to the performers and those around you.

Different types of performances require different forms of response:

  • Clapping along is good when encouraged by the performer.
  • Clapping after an improvised solo in a jazz concert is expected.
  • Clapping is reserved only for the end of the entire piece in a classical music concert.
  • Calling out the names of performers, or making distracting noises, are generally not appropriate. These noises distract performers and impair their ability to engage with an audience fully.
  • Clapping for stage crew, while they are working, is not appropriate.
  • Use of electronic devices, as well as other “quiet” activities, such as reading or drawing, are not appropriate.


Students thrive when they feel safe. Creating a respectful environment that fosters safety is one of our most important goals. In the 10 points that follow, you will find guidelines that will help ensure that discussions are respectful and inclusive. A “discussion” could be a number of things including a class discussion, a conversation with a friend, a debate with another artist, a large question and answer session within your department, or any of life’s countless groupings, and the exchange of ideas that are the result.

  • One mic, one voice: Only one person should speak at a time.
  • Step up, step back: Participants should be aware of how much they are speaking. If they feel they are speaking a lot, they should let others speak, and if they find themselves not talking, they should try to contribute some comments, ideas or suggestions.
  • Use “I” statements: Everyone should speak from his/her/hir/their own experiences.
  • Avoid making generalizations: Don’t make blanket statements about any groups of people. If you’re not sure that something you want to say is factually correct, phrase it as a question.
  • No assumptions — except for best intentions: People should not assume other people’s experiences or anything else. The only assumption people should make is that when other participants speak, they are speaking with the best intentions and do not mean to offend anyone.
  • Correct gently, but do correct: If someone says something that is incorrect or offensive, politely call them on that. Letting comments slip by only makes the space less safe and increases the difficulty of building successful partnerships.
  • Respect confidentiality: Assume that stories and comments shared in meetings should remain private. If you would like to share someone’s story or comment, please ask them first.
  • Embrace diversity: Diverse groups have lots to offer, including different tastes. When members share their likes and dislikes, respect their personal opinions and preferences.
  • Lean into discomfort: Many topics and the discussions that result can sometimes be challenging. Be willing to experience some discomfort in discussions, and learn from it.
  • Uphold commitments: The key to safe and successful communities (classes, peer groups, friendships, etc.) is honoring your commitments to that community. If you cannot go through with a commitment, make sure to let people know and find someone to take your place.


Usdan students and visitors always expected to use respect toward each other – both at camp and online. Please be a good citizen by not participating in, or tolerating, bullying at camp or cyberbullying via any social media platform. Saying hurtful or malicious things about others, no matter the form, is never tolerated by Usdan. If you witness or are the victim of bullying at camp or cyberbullying, please report it to the Dean’s Office immediately.


We welcome parents and caregivers to attend our daily Festival performances as well as Theater Department shows and in-studio performances with your Vehicle Access Pass and proper ID.  All visitors will receive a visitor pass upon entrance to camp, which must be displayed on their person at all times.  

Family members are especially encouraged to visit for the daily Festival performance and admission is included in your child’s tuition. 

There may be limitations on the number of families who can attend specific in-studio performances. Families will be notified of these limitations in advance of the performances.

Before the start of summer, you will receive a printed and detailed calendar of performances and events. Each week, we will email you a reminder of what’s coming in the week ahead in our weekly newsletter.  

Via email and on our website at, parents and caregivers will be notified on which days their own child is performing on campus.

Vehicle Access Passes are digital and will be emailed to you in advance of camp. Passes should be printed at home in advance of visiting campus. Be sure to keep your pass in your car window, or show it upon arrival in a taxi, when visiting Usdan. Those without a pass must call the day before their visit to be placed on a security list. No visitors will be admitted without identification. 

Visitors are not permitted to ride on any Usdan bus, bring pets onto campus (service and therapy dogs are welcome, but due to health department regulations, we require a copy of their vaccination record on file with the health office), or use any of the camp’s recreational facilities


When visiting camp, we ask that you respect the guidelines outlined below. Anyone who does not abide by these guidelines will be removed from camp and may lose visiting privileges.

  • All visitors must check in at the security booth and, if they don’t already have one, receive a Visitor Pass. This pass must be worn at all times.  Anyone on campus without a pass will be asked to leave immediately.
  • If you need help or directions on campus, please visit the Welcome Center or ask a staff member. Please do not ask students for information.
  • Photographing students in the pool area and restrooms is strictly prohibited. You may photograph your own child in other areas of camp, but please exercise discretion when photographing other children. Please do not post photos of children other than your own on social media without permission from the child’s family.
  • Please behave appropriately and respectfully around students, faculty, and other guests. Usdan reserves the right to remove or bar guests from campus at any time.
  • Our campus is a precious commodity and we ask that you help us ensure it remains so by disposing of garbage in the bins placed throughout the grounds. Please also consider zero waste solutions or reusable solutions sustainable whenever possible. 
  • We are thrilled for you to join us to enjoy the arts and nature in this inspiring and unique environment.
  • If a parent or guardian wishes to take their child home after a visit, they must be signed out from the main office with a valid ID. 


Parents and caregivers occasionally need to pick up students during the day for appointments. Parents, guardians, and anyone else authorized must have their 2022 Vehicle Access Pass in the window of their car clearly showing their child(ren)’s name(s).  Please bring photo identification as well.  If an adult who has not been previously authorized on the enrollment form picks up a camper, we must have written permission from the parent/guardian. An email to is sufficient. We will not release a child to anyone without express permission from the parent/guardian. 

Please call ahead or email us at so we are expecting you. You must remain in your vehicle. You will be greeted by a staff member who will radio for your child to be walked to your car.  If you are picking up before dismissal it must be no later than 2:45 PM, or you will need to wait until 3:45pm.  No cars will be permitted to enter between 2:45 PM and 3:45 PM, as the buses will be departing. 

If your child normally takes a bus and you would like to pick them up after camp, you must alert the camp the evening before, if possible, or as soon as you are aware you will be making the change.  We must make sure your child does not get on the bus, and the bus does not wait for them, causing unnecessary delays. Please see “Drop Off & Pick Up” under “What to Expect: The First Day of Camp”.


If a parent or guardian wants their child to go home with another Usdan student, both children must be picked up. Students may not ride on any bus other than the one assigned to them by Usdan.  Written permission must be provided by parents of both students. Please provide 24-hour advance notice.



Via Long Island Expressway

Queens Midtown Tunnel to the Long Island Expressway to Exit 49S or Throgs Neck Bridge to Clearview Expressway to Long Island Express- way to Exit 49S. Continue on the service road, parallel to the Expressway, for 3 lights to Pinelawn Road. Turn Right onto Pinelawn for 6 lights (there is a left hand turning lane at the 6th light). Turn left onto Colonial Springs Road. The entrance is 1 mile on your left.

Via Southern State Parkway

Belt Parkway to Southern State Parkway, Exit 35 (Wellwood Avenue). Follow Wellwood Avenue, north, past the Long Island National Cemetery, just past Newsday. Turn right after Newsday onto Colonial Springs Road. The entrance is 1 mile on your left.


Via Long Island Expressway

To Exit 49N. At the traffic light on the exit ramp turn left onto Pinelawn Road. Cross over the Expressway heading south on Pinelawn Road. Continue on Pinelawn for 7 lights (there is a left hand turning lane at the 7th light). Turn left onto Colonial Springs Road. The entrance is 1 mile on your left.

Via Southern State Parkway

To Exit 35 (Wellwood Avenue). Follow Wellwood Avenue, north, past the Long Island National Cemetery, just past Newsday. Turn right after Newsday onto Colonial Springs Road. The entrance is 1 mile on your left.


The nearest station is Wyandanch on the Main Line, Ronkonkoma Branch. There are taxis and app-based car services at the station. Long Island Railroad information can be found at


Rideshares (Uber, Lyft, etc) are available in the area.

Congratulations to making it to the end of Usdan’s Family Guide. We can’t wait to welcome your child this summer.